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Diversity is one of our core values. It’s vital to our business and has been embedded from the beginning. Diverse teams are better for business, and better for creativity.
Lack of diversity is driven by a combination of factors that affect the pipeline of talent in STEM subjects, the availability of diverse role models, access to expertise and capital, social mobility and a range of other issues. Europe is not necessarily tangibly better or worse than other tech hubs – however, given that Europe is such a diverse range of geographies and people this should be a key strength. I am encouraged to see the subject of diversity and inclusion appear on the agenda of more tech companies and more VCs over the last 12 months and to see so many funds participating in initiatives led by Diversity VC and others. I hope that this translates to sustained and impactful change – the first step though is understanding the situation as it is today, which is why Atomico’s commitment to this subject is so encouraging.
Europe’s VC industry is missing out on returns because we are lacking in diversity. Startups are missing out on performance because they lack diversity. That means both diversity in our teams and the founders that we back. This means diversity not just of gender, but in terms of background, race, ethnicity, physical and cognitive differences. The entire ecosystem as a whole needs to challenge itself to make concrete commitments and change.